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Preview: Atalanta BC vs. Venezia - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Atalanta BC vs. Venezia - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Serie A clash between Atalanta BC and Venezia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Following a third straight Serie A win at the weekend, Atalanta BC return to their Bergamo base on Tuesday, as they welcome Venezia to the Gewiss Stadium.

While a resilient performance helped La Dea to their second successive league victory over Juventus on Saturday, their Venetian counterparts were beaten 2-0 by Inter.

Match preview

Earning a measure of revenge for their Coppa Italia final defeat to the same opponents back in May, on Saturday evening, in-form Atalanta eked out a 1-0 win over Juventus to secure their place among Serie A's current top four.

After Duvan Zapata's first-half strike ultimately proved the difference at the Allianz Stadium - sealing a first victory against Juve in Turin for more than 30 years - the Bergamaschi strode seven points clear of Max Allegri's faltering side, and also extended their unbeaten run to a total of eight games overall.

A remarkable record of six wins from their first seven domestic road trips this term, though, contrasts with Atalanta's patchy home form, as they have come out on top just twice from their opening seven Serie A fixtures at the Gewiss Stadium.

Gian Piero Gasperini did see his team crush Spezia 5-2 last time out at their Lombardy headquarters, so will nevertheless be confident of improving that record against another struggling side in midweek. Furthermore, an impressive tally of 18 goals from their last eight outings in all competitions suggests that Atalanta have stepped up a gear ahead of an important month for the club.

Following Venezia's visit on Tuesday, La Dea travel to meet Napoli next weekend, before a decisive Champions League showdown with Villarreal back in Bergamo. They also face a fixture with Roma before the winter break, so Gasperini will be keen to pick up maximum points versus a side from the bottom third of the table.

Having won their last two games to rise up the Serie A standings, away from the drop zone, Venezia at least welcomed reigning champions Inter to Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo with some hope of pulling off a seismic shock.

However, the Arancioneroverdi could not replicate their memorable comeback win over Roma when they went down 2-0 to Simone Inzaghi's dominant side - who fired in 27 shots at goal to Venezia's six - on Saturday night.

Though positive results against Calcio's big boys are only a bonus for the promoted outfit - back in the elite for the first time in two decades - another fixture with a top-four team from Lombardy now follows, so they will aim to fare better on this occasion.

Head coach Paolo Zanetti has earned praise for leading his squad back to the promised land through the Serie B playoffs and then integrating several new signings from disparate parts of the globe. He will undoubtedly be concerned about a lack of input from his forwards, though, given Venezia average under a goal per game this term and are set to face a tricky run-up to Christmas.

After they meet Atalanta, the Lagunari welcome local rivals Verona to the Penzo, and then both Juventus and Lazio await.

Atalanta BC Serie A form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Atalanta BC form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Venezia Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Atalanta have recently been closer to a full-strength squad, after a lengthy injury list threatened to derail their progress earlier this month.

While wing-back Robin Gosens is yet to return to the squad and defender Matteo Lovato is ruled out with a hamstring injury, Gian Piero Gasperini has no other injury concerns, after Hans Hateboer finally made it back to the bench at the weekend.

Amid a hectic schedule - this will be the home side's fourth fixture in the space of 10 days - Gasperini may make several changes, with Luis Muriel a strong candidate to replace his Colombian compatriot Duvan Zapata up front, despite the latter's winning goal at Juventus.

Meanwhile, Teun Koopmeiners could usurp either one of La Dea's midfield mainstays - Marten de Roon and Remo Freuler - in the engine room, and one of Serie A's most productive midfielders, Mario Pasalic, will hope to feature in support of the frontman, having already registered four goals and five assists.

The visitors, meanwhile, are similarly blessed by few absences in their multinational squad, as only Luca Fiordilino and Michael Svoboda are expected to miss out again in Bergamo.

Scorer of the winner against Roma, David Okereke should once more start up front, with Mattia Aramu and either on-loan Sofian Kiyine or Norwegian winger Dennis Johnsen supporting him up front.

Ethan Ampadu and Antonio Vacca are poised to retain their places in Venezia's favoured three-man midfield, while Sergio Romero starts ahead of the recently returned Luca Lezzerini between the posts.

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Musso; Toloi, Palomino, Djimsiti; Hateboer, Koopmeiners, De Roon, Maehle; Ilicic, Pasalic; Muriel

Venezia possible starting lineup:
Romero; Mazzocchi, Caldara, Ceccaroni, Haps; Vacca, Busio, Ampadu; Johnsen, Aramu; Okereke

We say: Atalanta BC 2-0 Venezia

Though their adaptation to the top flight has gone even better than they may have hoped before the campaign kicked off, Venezia's shortcomings in the final third could cost them again on Tuesday.

Even a rotated Atalanta side possesses far greater Serie A experience and firepower than their visitors, so a fourth straight league win is on the cards for the hosts, who can look to several sources for both goals and inspiration.

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